This means that I have a lot of preparation to do to my Army of the Season.
This year My army of the season will be Drop Pod Salamanders.
Every year I make it a point to go to several regional Gaming Conventions. Last year, there were only two, but this year is a much fuller schedule:
GameCon Spokane - Spokane, Washington
MisCon - Missoula, Montana
SpoCon - Spokane, Washington
Tactical Solutions - Coeur D'Alene Idaho
This is in addition to the Ard Boyz Events.
I love convention gaming as it brings a lot of gamers (not just 40k Gamers) together to one venue where you can learn new games, get games against people you've never met, and in some cases participate in a large tournament against people you've never played against.
The first of these events was last month in Spokane Washington. GameCon Spokane held a tournament with 42 people and was a Blast! while my salamanders were not finished in the painting department, they were in every other sense. I did not place. But in the mean time I had an amazing time.
Next up is MisCon in Missoula. I'll have my Sallies finished painted by then. just a few left to paint. I'm not sure the size of the tourney there, but I'll be fine up to 2500 points.
Here is a link to the pictures I too of some of the other armies that I saw there.... and a few big guys.
Anyhow, on to the crux of the post: Convention Gaming and how it affects the tournament player.
A lot of people build their tournament lists based on what they expect to see at their local venue. This is good as it allows them to build competitive lists versus the people that they know will be there, how then do you build a list for a convention? With a larger pool of people and (at least for me) the knowledge of probably a single list (being your own) what to do?
First off your best bet is to build a balanced list.
A Balanced list contains several things:
1. A Purpose, wether it be to shoot your opponent to death or rout, Melee Hack and Slash, or what have you, you need to have a purpose in your build.
2. All Elements. While your purpose defines your focus, you need to be prepared for everything. If you build an all CC army, and you play against tau, you're kind of screwed. you need to be able to shoot as well.
3. Defense. You need the ability to defend against whatever your opponent thows at you. Wether this is a couple of Land Raiders or 4 squads of kroot with kroot hounds, you need to have a "Fall Back" plan.
Secondly you need a plan. Stick to it. you're not at war in real life, just keep to your plan. never put all your eggs in one basket. (This means don't build an army list around Lysander and 10 Sternguard in a drop pod to kill everything) because, well, they won't.
Third of all, go in with a different mindset. Know that if you did everything you needed to, you have a good chance of doing well. There can be only one winner though, and really, honestly, out of the multitudes of people that can and will arrive, you are just one person. Dice have their factor and odds are that the person with the best list and the best dice luck will win it all. If you're rolling like crap, don't let it get to you. Take each game as a lesson. Have Fun, Punch In and play like you've got a pair.
I won't even get into comp because that is another rant. Don't play comp tourneys. just refuse. I refuse to play games where other people think they can tell me what toys I can play with. GW Makes rules, use those.
and that is about it. Conventions are for a more diverse gaming field. Enjoy Them. I do.